This is an exaggerated (and hopefully humorous) version of a typical day with Fibromyalgia (Fibro). My Fibro is definitely better now than it was, but in the beginning this was pretty much it!
I start out the day trying to wake-up. It’s hard getting up when you feel like you have a hangover everyday but yet didn’t drink a thing the night before. My body is stiff, brain foggy, and feel so tired and out of it. Once I actually get up and out of bed, I stumble towards the coffee pot. Now it takes all my brain power to make this one cup of coffee. Pour in the water in one spout, coffee in the other. Don’t mix it up! (We have one of those coffee pots where you can make a whole pot or just one cup of coffee.) Now, time to get the kids up. This is usually a struggle so I have to start slow and then keep at them to get up. I go and try to get myself ready but can’t forget about the kids! Make sure to keep reminding them to get up and get dressed… Everything is a struggle, even just trying to button things. My fingers are fumbling, time is ticking. Coffee, I’ve got to go get the coffee. Kids! They need to get dressed and eat something. My back hurts, so I am moving slow. My mind is racing, faster than my body will go. Anxiety sets in. We are going to be late, hurry up!
Once we finally get through the morning routine and get out the door (hopefully on time), I drop kids off and head to work. My brain is still foggy and we have been rushing all morning so I usually feel quite overwhelmed and out of it when I get to work. I don’t want to eat anything until then either because of the nausea all morning. Ok, turn on the computer. That’s easy. Once I’m done with my coffee I can usually function a little more. The constant urge to go to the bathroom is a little annoying though. I already went! Stop! Let me get on with my day. Sitting for long periods of time causes stiffness, so I guess having to go to the bathroom frequently is a good thing. It gets me up and moving. Great, now my eyes are watering. Something in the air is bugging them. It looks like I’m crying. It’s cold. Oh it’s so so cold that I ache to my bones, fingers don’t want to move, can’t function. Brain fog (Fibro Fog) continues, stiffness, hand cramping, oh and what’s this? A shooting pain up my arm or leg. That’s fun. I need to concentrate and get some work done. No, I already went to the bathroom! Ok now where did I put that file? What was I supposed to be doing? All of a sudden, I feel very itchy. There must be something in my shirt that’s bugging me. Maybe the tag? I can’t focus. Now my hand is tingly. In a meeting or walking by someone, trying to keep a smile on my face. Tummy-ache, shooting pains, Fibro Fog, eyes watering, back hurts… just keep smiling, just keep smiling (I say in a Dory voice – from Finding Nemo).
Eating lunch is usually fine unless I eat the wrong thing. This ‘wrong thing’ isn’t quite figured out yet but I try to have a salad every day and eat organic, of course. I do eat out occasionally and sometimes pay for it afterward. Everything continues. It’s amazing I get anything done between the forgetfulness, slowness, and the overall struggle in functionality. Every task involves a lot of effort physically and mentally so I congratulate myself after each one. Way to go! You filed that file in correct alphabetical order. Yay! You remembered to call that person back. It’s kind-of a fun way to live, always praising yourself.
Sometimes I think back to ‘life before Fibro’ and I just didn’t have the appreciation I do now. I appreciate when I’m having a good day. Where I actually feel good, physically and/or mentally. I appreciate when I can remember something. Anything! I appreciate that moment when you first slip into bed, or a warm bath, when the fire really starts going, warm socks, sitting down, standing up, moving, any amount of help from others, coffee, a clear head, no pain, sunshine, good healthy food, my children’s independence, good music, comedies, and a glass of wine!
Work is over, time to pick-up the kids. When we get home, I relax for a little bit but this usually means I am at least thinking about dinner, maybe I will look up a recipe, etc. And it doesn’t last long. Uh oh, now I have sat for too long, stiffness occurs. Get up, move around, stretch. “Mommy, I want a snack.” “Mommy, he hit me.” “Mommy, she won’t play with me.” Oh man. Ok, time to make dinner. Get moving. If I am making something new, it would be nice not to have any interruptions, as it takes all of my concentration. But this isn’t possible. So, I figure it out. I get one thing going and start another. Chopping, oops-hand cramp. Uh oh, forgot about the water boiling. “Mommy, I’m hungry. When’s dinner done and what are we having?” Not now or I will burn dinner… Ok, what was I doing? The water! My back hurts from standing too long. I need to sit for just a second, but the dishes need done too.
Once dinner is done (and hopefully not burnt), I can maybe think for a minute. I go down the list of things I need to accomplish for the night. My daughter’s homework, is it bath night? Lunches for everyone, is it library day tomorrow? I’m getting worn out now. Better keep moving or I will crash! But not too much or I will really be in pain. Wow, it’s 7:30 and I haven’t started on anything. Now I sat for too long again. Everything hurts. What was I supposed to do? “Mommy, I’m hungry.” 🙁 Ok, let’s get everything done, one thing at a time. Homework, lunches, baths, brush teeth, story time. Once kids are finally asleep and I am laying in bed, the pain really comes on. I stretch, toss and turn, trying to get comfortable. Reading helps distract me from pain or anything that’s bothering me. Finally, asleep. And now I’m awake. Bathroom time, toss and turn. Asleep again. Awake again. Bathroom, toss and turn. Sleep. Awake. Sleep. Awake. Alarm goes off…. Snooze, snooze, get up! Start the day again.
My Life Now
So now that I am doing so much better, I will wake up and yes, it is hard at first. But after I get passed the groggy part and just get out of bed and moving, I am totally fine. Throughout the day I may have some kind of pain here and there and every day is different. If I do too much, I might suffer later but this ‘suffering’ isn’t really anything like it used to be. I can handle this and it is manageable. I hardly ever have Fibro Fog anymore! I can think clearly, function, I have a ton of energy at times, I can ride a bike again without pain! I also actually get sleep now, and it’s a full night most of the time. I really think it’s from eating right, losing weight, and taking a natural supplement called Protandim. To read about my Fibro story, click here. To find out more information on what I do to feel better, click here.